- Check the legalities and administration of getting married in Scotland – the National Records of Scotland will be able to help with this. You’ll also find a great guide to gay marriage and civil partnerships in Scotland from the Equality Network.
- Check if you need a marriage visa – all nationals from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States, who want to visit Scotland to get married or to register a civil partnership, will need an entry clearance through a Marriage Visa.
- Pick the type of wedding ceremony you want to have – in Scotland, any couple (including same-sex couples) can have a civil marriage ceremony or a religious or belief marriage ceremony. A religious or belief marriage ceremony includes a Humanist wedding ceremony.
- Decide what language you want your ceremony to be conducted in – your ceremony can either be conducted in English, or in any other language. This includes both Gaelic and Scots. All parties, including the celebrant (the person who will perform your ceremony), must be able to understand the language, but you can use a translator if necessary.
- Choose your wedding venue and book the celebrant – in Scotland wedding ceremonies can take place almost anywhere, so you can quite literally make your dream wedding come true! Why not have yours in a castle, on a boat, beside a loch or on a mountainside? The choice is all yours!
- Book all the extra elements that will make your wedding day special – some of the things you might want to consider include: catering, flowers, a photographer/videographer, favours, wedding cars and entertainment. Do you want a traditional Scottish wedding? You might also want to look at booking a piper or a ceilidh band, as well as hiring kilts for the bridal party.
- Fill in the appropriate paperwork and pay any fees to the registrar – by law notice has to be given to the registrar in the district where your marriage is to take place in the three month period before the date of your marriage and no later than 29 days before it. To make sure things run as smoothly as possible you should research what information and documents you need to provide well in advance, so that you can fill out and return the appropriate forms as soon as possible within the three month window.
- Collect your Marriage Schedule* – if you are having a religious or belief marriage ceremony the registrar will issue your Marriage Schedule to you seven days before your marriage. The schedule must be collected, in person, by one of the parties of the marriage. After your ceremony you must return the signed schedule to the registrar within three days so that the marriage can be registered.
* This step only applies if you are having a religious or belief marriage ceremony. If you are having a civil marriage ceremony the registrar will bring your Marriage Schedule to your ceremony for signature, and will subsequently register your marriage.